Press Feature

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—  This Theory May Just Save Your Life

                                                         by Jeffrey Dobkin

Imagine this: You’ve just come into your child’s bedroom to tuck her in for the night. Her lips are blue, her face cool. As you reach over to pick her up, her body is limp in your arms. Your child is not breathing. What do you do?

Thousands of times each year this terrifying scene is repeated. If you are the parent of a young child, without a doubt this would be the most horrifying experience of your life. If you don’t know infant CPR, your only option is to watch your child lie there, not breathing, until help arrives. Even if you know CPR, there may be a simple technique you can do immediately to increase the chance of your child’s survival and recovery without brain damage.

~ Background ~

In the winter of 1977 a young boy named Brian Cunningham fell into an icy river and drowned. He was submerged for over half an hour. He had stopped breathing after two minutes. His heart had stopped. He lay motionless under the water. The boy, by all definitions, was dead. For well over half an hour this child didn’t take a single breath.

Thirty-eight minutes later he was pulled from the river by a fire rescue team. Contrary to conventional thought, he was resuscitated, revived, and returned to live a perfectly normal life. There was no brain damage. How could this happen?

I was brought up in the ’60s, and was taught when no oxygen was supplied to the brain for a three- or four-minute period, irreversible brain damage occurs. Those were the ’60s. Everyone believed it, even me. It was almost 10 years later that my curiosity finally got the better of me.

Of course, while growing up I was also taught the food groups you needed to eat every day were meat, vegetables and fruits, grains, and dairy. Remember the food pyramid? In the ’70s the USDA recommended you eat two to three servings of meat a day. Perhaps you remember just a few years ago, they changed all that. Now there are new food groups. Fats and oils are out. Meat isn’t really high on the recommended list. Times change.

Just last week vitamins were good for you. This week they’re bad for you. All the changes in medical thinking and medical methods indicate the profession has numerous ideas about almost every condition, and about every issue. They can’t all be correct, because they conflict with each other. New rules apply every day; just ask a different doctor.

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Now there are new food groups, and new theories about vitamins. But physicians still cling to the

belief that there is only CPR for heart attack victims. Yet even now, after all these years, the effectiveness of CPR is still in question.  Despite all we know about medicine , all we know about CPR, Sudden Cardiac Arrest — a type of heart failure that strikes over 295,000 victims each year here in the United States — still kills over 95 % of it’s victims.  Under 5% live long enough to reach a hospital.  After 5 minutes from the time of the SCA insult there is a grave chance the survivors have irreversible brain damage… for the rest of their lives.

I was surprised to read that article in Newsweek in 1977 about a child falling into icy water. When Brian was pulled out of the water with no brain damage after half an hour of being completely submerged, I wondered why.  Why this happened, how could this happen became a recurring question that haunted me for 10 years.

In 1985 I began my research in the medical libraries in my home town of Philadelphia.  I spent hundreds, thousands of hours investigating how some people (especially children) can apparently drown, and upon their resuscitation—sometimes up to an hour or more later—experience no brain damage. What is it that delays brain damage during this period?

It took me years of research.

Time spent in the yellowing pages of old books, faded fax papers and medical papers sent to me by teletype from around the world. Microfiche files of newspaper clippings. But I was getting information that I would compile and use.  My research showed that hypothermia, created by the cold water, helps delay brain damage. But that’s NOT the reason these people survive with no brain injury. To survive an anoxic (low oxygen) event, it is the triggering of a specific natural reflex that is responsible for delaying brain damage. It’s called the Mammalian Diving Reflex.

I continued my research. It took me another 10 years to a breakthrough.  Ten years of off- and on-research working nights and Sundays, to the point where my investigation showed the specific technique of triggering this reflex can be accomplished by a facial immersion in cold water. Only the face of the victim needs to be placed in cold water to trigger the Mammalian Diving Reflex. All that is necessary to delay brain damage in a hypoxic (low blood flow) anoxic (low oxygen) event is to trigger this reflex by applying cold, wet compresses to the victim’s face.

Specifically, the facial immersion in cold water is what saves victims in cold-water drownings. From my findings I wrote the enclosed research papers. It is my belief that thousands of lives are needlessly being lost each year, and thousands more people unnecessarily suffer brain damage from loss of oxygen to the brain.

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Heart attacks are the fourth largest cause of death in the U.S.. Victims of suffocation, electrocution, drug overdose, SIDS—all these people—and infants—could possibly be helped by the early triggering of the natural oxygen-conserving reflex, the Mammalian Diving Reflex. If just one child (the diving reflex is most pronounced in children) with SIDS can be saved with the technique of triggering the diving reflex by application of cold water to the face, it is well worth all the thousands of hours of research I have done.


~ Personal Note ~

But before I get too far ahead of myself, I acknowledge this is a tough subject. If you are an editor of a newspaper or magazine, you don’t have to run this story. Maybe you don’t need to present a controversial theory like this to your audience. Just bury this article in a file cabinet, and no hard feelings. I hope no one in your reader audience will ever need this in an emergency. I hope you won’t, either.

But if you’re interested in helping to save lives, and if you want to present some good news—maybe you should take another look. If you’ve ever wondered how people survive cold-water drownings, if you are interested in the chance, just the chance, of saving one infant from SIDS, your consideration to bring this story to your audience is appreciated.

    “In a terrifying moment you see her on the bottom of the pool. 

You immediately pull her out, but she is completely lifeless.”

Take an example. Just after you rushed into your house to answer the phone and grab a soda, your daughter falls into your swimming pool. Within a few seconds she slips under with hardly a ripple, and sinks to the bottom. Within two minutes she lies motionless at the bottom of the pool, not breathing. You go out to check on her—remember, just two minutes have passed—and in a terrifying moment you see her on the bottom of the pool. You immediately pull her out, but she is completely lifeless.

To trigger the diving reflex, the water must be 58 degrees or cooler, so this reflex did not occur. Your daughter now has two more minutes before irreversible brain damage occurs, followed directly by brain death. What would you do? Would you want the option of now triggering a natural oxygen-conserving reflex to possibly delay the onset of brain damage?

~ The Life-Saving Technique ~

Here is a description of the Dobkin Technique for delaying brain damage. It can be done by a child. It can be explained over the phone. It can be self-administered. Initiating the reflex takes well under a minute. It is a natural occurrence: nature’s own way of protecting her children.

    This one paragraph may save your life:

    In the event of any oxygen deprivation to the brain—such as heart attack, drowning, suffocation, electrocution, drug overdose, trauma, or SIDS—the first action a person should take is Call 911 and report the emergency.  Then immediately place ice cold water, cold wet towels, or icy cold compresses over the eyes and face of the victim. Leave the nose and mouth uncovered if breathing. Keep compresses cold, and leave them on face. Apply iced compresse to the back of the neck at the base of the head to cool the blood in the brain.

This is the whole technique to trigger the Mammalian Diving Reflex, a natural oxygen-conserving reflex found in all mammals. It is nature’s own reaction to delay brain damage and sustain life. Unbelievable? This is the whole technique in one paragraph. One paragraph that may save your life. Or the life of someone you love.

Take another example. You live 20 minutes out in the country. On a warm summer night you are sitting on the porch when your spouse—who has been feeling pale and weak all day—suffers a heart attack. You call for an ambulance, 20 minutes away. You don’t know CPR. You now have two choices. You can helplessly watch your spouse, who has just stopped breathing, lie there on the floor. Or you can trigger the reflex. Which would you rather do?

Let me be more specific about using Dobkin’s Technique. “If something isn’t done right now, this person will die.” This is when the technique is used.

With hundreds of hours of research and investigation of the oxygen-conserving reflex, I am available to you and your audience by phone or in person. But even as just a news brief, I would like you to release this information, to offer a choice to those who may stand helpless as their spouse or child lies dying from drowning, heart attack, electrocution, suffocation, SIDS, drug overdose, stroke -or any other trauma where there is danger of Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy – brain damage caused by an oxygen deprivation to the brain.

Additional Information: please contact Jeffrey Dobkin directly by clicking here.  Thank you. For additional information on Jeffrey Dobkin, please visit our sometimes fun and funny, sometimes serious direct marketing site:


For Immediate Release
Contact: Jeffrey Dobkin
Phone: 610-642-1000
Jeff at Dobkin dot com